Although mental health is now placed at the same level of priority as any physical ailment, there are still lingering pockets of society that stigmatise the issue. However, employers should be aware of the gravity of ignoring anyone displaying symptoms of mental health problems at work. As well as being debilitating for the employee concerned, anyone suffering undue levels of stress can be symptomatic that deeper work-related issues need to be addressed, such as workload allocation, or the possibility of bullying amongst the workforce.
Employers have a duty to their staff under the terms of the Health and Safety at Work Act, covering not just their physical well-being, but also their state of mind. Many workers will experience periods of stress, and this becomes particularly prevalent during times of recession, when employees may fear for their jobs – so if they are going through any sort of inner turmoil they are likely to bottle it up for fear of being seen as a weak link in the company. They might accept ever-demanding workloads in order to seem indispensable. But this will merely make their stress even worse.
What should be done to address mental health problems at work?
Because employers have a duty to recognise the problems that can arise from stress and other mental health issues, the sufferers should be encouraged to broach the subject, either through colleagues, immediate supervisors or management. It can be difficult taking this first step, so employees should have appropriate provision in terms of helpline number or websites where they can seek advice anonymously. Sharing the problem can often prove to be advantageous for the mental health sufferer, and the next steps can seem much easier.
Can you make a compensation claim for these issues?
You most certainly can is the short answer to that question. Accident Advice Helpline has the experience in assisting workers with all sorts of work-related compensation claims. Mental health issues can be particularly debilitating for the person involved, and if you have never received any assistance from your employer in terms of helping to cope with excessive workloads, bullying or perhaps a family bereavement, then they may be in breach of health and safety laws. Call Accident Advice Helpline on 0800 689 0500 so that we can possibly put you in touch with one of our compensation claims lawyers.
Date Published: February 19, 2015
Author: David Brown